Showing posts from March, 2010

Cost of outsourced work

For last few years outsourcing work is routinely adopted by companies to reduce costs. Now a days we see various non-core activities like after sales service, salary payments, marketing activities, claim processing, event management, house-keeping, physical security of premises and so on - are routinely handled by outside agencies. While cost reduction may be true in short run - there is a cost that a company pays for outsourcing its activities.

For example, look at the quality of service provided by outsourced agencies for After Sales Service. Is there any credible proof that outsourced agencies can offer to its customers that their customer's are served well and are happy with their service? I doubt.

Take this instance of a leading software product vendor who routinely outsources its Dealer Incentive scheme management to third parties.  Yesterday we learnt about a dealer scheme from this vendor's newsletter and clicked on the link to register for the same. And we got a Googl…

Un-used and expired Sodexo Gift Vouchers have no value?

Sodexo is a french company allowed to issue pre-paid Gift Vouchers in India. There is a guideline given by Reserve Bank of India giving directions for their operations. It's published in April 2009 under "Issuance and Operation of Pre-paid Payment Instruments in India (Reserve Bank) Directions, 2009".

We had got this Sodexho Gift Vouchers in 2006 from one of the Vendor as an Incentive. We thought we had used it all. But recently - while clearing cupboard - my wife found unused Gift coupons worth Rs.2,600/-. They had expiry date of 31-12-2006.

When I approached Sodexo they said nothing can be done about them as everything has been accounted for so far and accounts are closed.

When I read the RBI directions- it says following:

Issuance and Operation of Pre-paid Payment Instruments in India (Reserve Bank) Directions, 2009

April 27, 2009

9. Validity
9.1 All pre-paid payment instruments issued in the country shall have a minimum validity period of six months from the date of…

Excessive electricity bills paid for 10 years due to a defective electric meter

We were suspecting our electric bills to be high - so after several complaints starting from Feb 2009 - meter was taken for testing in Aug 2009 and found to be defective. Meter was found running even when mains supply was switched off. Reliance gave us 20% refund for 5 months starting from Feb 2009 based on Meter test report - which had tested meter for 10%, 20% and 100% load at Unity and 0.5 lag Power Factor. Average Percentage Error of this 6 readings was 20%.

We went to Grievance Forum - they gave order for 20% refund for additional 3 months - as per MERC regulation. But, our current (new) meter reading shows reduction in consumption of units by 61% compared to old meter. This is in spite of the fact that consumption pattern has remained unchanged - before and after the meter change.

So, we're thinking of approaching Ombudsman for the same. But problem is that of MERC regulation - which states following (relevent provisions are reproduced below):